About Charing Cross Housing Association
Charing Cross Housing Association is a registered social landlord and nonprofit organisation with charitable status. Charing Cross Housing Association own 500 flats in the west end of Glasgow and factor 909 flats as well as a number of other properties for low mobility residency, commercial property and shared accommodation. They have around 20 staff and are now part of the West of Scotland Housing Association.
Challenges facing Charing Cross Housing Association
Charing Cross Housing found themselves like many organisations during the pandemic, with an aging IT infrastructure that did not support the move to hybrid working and was presenting challenges for employees.. This included remote working access to core line of business applications including Sage, RAM & finance, productivity challenges anda need to improve security.
Charing Cross Housing Association still had a mostly on-premise infrastructure, using on-premise file storage and applications hosted on their on-premise solution. They did have Office 365 that they were using for some processes and elements of their business.
They were looking to modernise their IT infrastructure and migrate to the cloud to overcome these challenges. They engaged Bridgeall as cloud consultants and we undertook this project.
Our solution involved working with Charing Cross Housing Association to identify the correct application of solutions to help solve their key challenges.
As part of this exercise, we carried out an audit of a number of different areas which resulted in a recommendation report. We implemented some short-term changes immediately into the project to help maximise the impact for them. These included:
- Migration of on-premise file storage to SharePoint
- Implementation of new remote desktop solution Azure Virtual Desktop to provide on-premise access with a Windows 10 interface
- Applied Multi Factor Authentication to their tenant to significantly increase their security.
- Recommended security settings changes across Office 365 for file sharing externally to improve security
The Cloud Migration
The primary part of the project was to migrate key solutions to Azure. As a Microsoft Gold partner and Azure experts, we identified Azure as an affordable, scalable and secure platform for Charing Cross Housing Association.
We approached this migration using our standard 3 stage approach
- Discovery Phase – The discovery phase is about understanding the requirements in more detail and providing a detailed assessment for what is needed to migrate the assets to the cloud. Looking at each workload within Charing Cross to assess if it can be moved immediately to Azure or would need additional work before being able to migrate.
- Ready Phase – In the ready phase and using the application inventory we prioritised their applications into a migration plan based on business priority and complexity. We then migrated each of these to Azure.
- Adoption Phase – We wanted to ensure the new solutions were easily adopted across Charing Cross Housing Association and so carried out a range of user acceptance testing and training to ensure the new approach and solutions were properly embedded across the organisation.
After the project was successfully completed Charing Cross Housing Association had the following benefits from the project:
- A more secure and resilient IT infrastructure
- Better access and support for remote working employees
- A more productive and cloud first IT approach